A huge to-do
in Marietta, OH
every September when sternwheelers
from up and down the Ohio River
converge on a small town. For three days, the city takes a holiday and caters to the hundreds of thousands of people who have gathered to gawk
a the boats and all the silly tourists
A solid 5 blocks are partitioned off for the myriad of tents that the street vendors put up so they can sell food, jewelry, weaponry, air-brushed license plates, posters, clothing, anything else you can think of, etc.
There are live musicians who perform atop the barge that is docked on the levee of the Ohio River. Usually a big-name country singer and a rock band of some sort are booked for the event. (Year before last, Jeff Carson andStarship played.)
On Saturday night there is a fireworks show that is avidly anticipated by locals for the majority of the year.
The festival culminates on Sunday afternoon when the sternwheel boats race up the Ohio River, in the event the festival was originally created for. The races are now an afterthought to many people, kept only for traditions' sake. Of course, ask any senior who grew up in the area what the festival is, and the races will be the first thing you are told about...